An annual survey of the state of the online gambling market in the Netherlands showed signs of market maturing but legal market recognition for the public has barely increased.
Gamblers Increase, Risk Gamblers Stable The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) Online Gaming Barometer, an annual report on the online market conducted by market research and public opinion specialist, IPSOS, since 2021 revealed that the local market is showing early signs of maturity.
The latest edition of the consumer survey showed that more and more Dutch people are gambling online now compared to two years ago while the number of those doing it with an unlicensed gambling provider is falling, with 94% currently choosing the safer and responsible gambling environment of a licensed provider.
The NOGA barometer also showed that 14% of the adult population of the country is gambling online, marking an increase from the 11% registered in the previous report. Most online players are either men or young adults, just like last year, but the share of young players went up from 21% in 2022 to 30% now.
The frequency of play has increased compared to the previous year, too, explained by the preference of players to gamble via their smartphones, with online sports betting and online casino being their preferred gambling verticals.
The growing number of young players is the main reason behind the increase from 8% to 14% in risk gamblers seen among young adults. And researchers believe this tendency may continue in line with the growing market, pointing out that it is part of gambling providers’ responsibilities to limit this increase.
Despite the increase in the number of gamblers and the increase in young risk gamblers, the share of risk gambling in the country is not increasing significantly, with the majority of the players agreeing that gambling addiction is a major risk.
Fewer Ads but Recognition Remains Challenging The Dutch now believe that gambling harm prevention is a major responsibility of gambling providers, with almost 9 out of 10 respondents expecting gambling firms to provide information about the risks associated with online gambling.
Contrary to what Franc Weerwind, the Dutch minister for legal protection believes, the survey showed encouraging results for the industry’s self-regulating approach to advertising as fewer participants have seen gambling advertisements in the past year.
A major area where the gambling regime is not delivering is public recognition of legal providers which has not, or barely increased since the legalization of online gambling in October 2021, with more than two-thirds of the players unable to distinguish between a licensed operator and an offshore provider.
NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij commented that this area is really important for the market, stressing that “whether or not you have gambled before; it must be as easy and clear as possible to identify licensed safe providers, especially if that recognition deteriorates again due to the upcoming advertising ban.”
“It is up to us, together with the government, to make the licensed offer even safer in the coming years and thus protect online gamblers even better – while the licensed offer remains attractive enough to keep them away from illegal activities,” he concluded.